Friday, December 28, 2012

Murgoitio - It was my best race this year

Egoitz Murgoitio has issued a warning to his rivals ahead of the decisive weekend of racing coming up. His rivalry with the in-form Aitor Hernández will reach its climax on Saturday as the duo duke it out for the overall Superprestigio crown in the last round of the race series in Puente Viesgo, Cantabria, before the title of Champion of Euskadi is up for grabs in Ormaiztegi on Sunday.

Having not spent Christmas competing on the World Cup circuit in Belgium unlike Murgoitio, Larrinaga, Suárez et al., Hernández might be physically fresher for both races. However, speaking after finishing 22nd in Zolder on Wednesday, the Hirumet-Taldea captain said the weekend's double-header could hardly have come at a better time.

"Zolder was my best race of the year", he said on his own website, having gone from 45th after the first lap to finish just outside the top 20. "Someone crashed into me from behind on the first round, and that left me way off pace. But the sensations were the best so far this season, and that motivates me for the remainder of the campaign. I was quickly able to catch up with Larrinaga and Suárez's group and leave them behind. My final result doesn't say much, but I'll go home in high spirits as I'm approaching the level of form that I want - and there's still a lot of racing left this season".

Murgoitio holds a slim nine-point leave over Hernández ahead of the series decider (115 to 106 points). MMR-Spiuk's Javier Ruiz de Larrinaga, 31st and 29th in Namur and Zolder respectively, will be present and hoping to give Hernández and Murgoitio a run for their money, while Constantino Zaballa will also be hoping to mix it up with the discipline's top riders. Reigning national champ Isaac Suárez will, according to the Spanish Cycling Federation, miss out, as he'll stay in Belgium to do a few more races.

Jonathan Lastra, also him fresh off international racing, should take home the sub-23 crown, while the junior category is a three-way battle between leader Felipe Orts (Infiniobras-Moixent), Caja Rural's Basque Alex Aranburu and EnBici-Stevens rider Diego Pablo Sevilla.

Orbea-Centeno's Roció Gamonal, who hails from a certain Samuel Sánchez's hometown of Oviedo, Asturias, has already taken out the women's elite series, while fellow Asturian Alicia González only needs to reach the finish line to win the junior crown.

The elite racing in Puente Viesgo kicks off at 13:15 on Saturday.

Photo: Iñaki Azanza

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